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EdTech Startup Announces 'Playbook' for Teachers to Facilitate Peer Collaboration

EdTech Startup Announces 'Playbook' For Teachers to Facilitate Peer Collaboration

Panorama Education, an edtech start-up based in Boston, has announced Playbook, an online community for educators that connects them to feedback data from peers to determine the best strategies for the classroom.

Brian Rainville, Educator Engagement Director at Panorama, discussed the new professional learning tool today and the impact it will have on educators across the country.

First, he discussed his own experience in the classroom and how he could have used a tool like Playbook at the time.

While he says he always understood the benefit of collaborating with his peers, it was hard to find time to do so throughout his time in the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS).

"If I wanted to see what other teachers were doing, it usually meant eating my lunch in the corner of a colleague’s classroom or giving up one of my treasured planning periods. Much of the time, it was just impossible because I was teaching at the same time," he said in his blog post.

Years later, he has joined Panorama and since has enabled the development and release of Playbook, which is built by teachers for teachers.

"The ideas behind Playbook are simple: nobody knows what works better in practice than teachers, and teachers learn best from each other," he said.

The best part about Playbook is that it is completely personalized depending on the teacher using:

For example, for an eighth grade math teacher who identifies student engagement as an area in which they want to improve, Playbook will recommend successful strategies from teachers of similar grade levels and subject areas at similar schools. Then, teachers can close the loop by assessing their improvement in the areas they target for improvement again with student feedback with Panorama.

Rainville and his team hope that Playbook will revolutionize professional development- doing away with the frequently used "sit and get" methods of PD and instead providing teachers with an interactive, constantly updated community.

So far, there are 7,000 teachers in 300 schools using the tool, and Rainville says as more begin to use it, the better the tool will become as it "will get smarter about delivering personalized recommendations to teachers and helping them identify what is working."

Panorama is offering a free webinar to those interested in learning more about using Playbook Oct. 13. Registration can be found here

Read the full blog post here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/29/2015

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